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Election myths
The Washington Times ^ | November 18, 2004 | Masthead Editorial

Posted on 11/18/2004 1:35:48 AM PST by neverdem


The Washington Times
www.washingtontimes.com

Election myths

Published November 18, 2004

As a wrap-up to Election 2004, it should be noted which election "myths" helped shape each party's strategy. Not surprisingly, the losing party held to the losing myths, and vice versa. Here are some that failed to hold up on Nov. 2:


     • Anger is a platform. Ever since the 2000 election, Democrats rallied around their mutual disdain for President Bush. The Democrats should have remembered that Republican anger at Bill Clinton didn't work, either.


    • It's the money, not the message. The myth is that the candidate who raises the most money in the year leading up to the election would surely win. Throughout 2004, the Democrats outraised Republicans by several million dollars. Yet it took only the very straightforward message of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and their measly $250,000 in initial funding, to do more damage to John Kerry than all the liberal 527s combined did to Mr. Bush.


    • High voter turnout favors Democratic candidates. The grassroots efforts of both parties to get out the vote should be applauded. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, but the idea that somehow this would favor Mr. Kerry failed to hold up. In Ohio, Mr. Kerry won more votes than any Democrat in state history; it's just that Mr. Bush got 136,000 more.


  • The legions of youth voters would tip the balance in favor of Mr. Kerry. The polls never agreed with this myth. Though the youth vote came out in record numbers, as a percentage of the electorate, their....


(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Florida; US: Ohio; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2004; 2004election; 2004electionbias; bullzogby; dnctalkingpoints; elections; howtostealanelection; mediabias; myths; napalminthemorning; propaganda; rathergate; statistics; zogbyism

1 posted on 11/18/2004 1:35:48 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Yet it took only the very straightforward message of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and their measly $250,000 in initial funding, to do more damage to John Kerry than all the liberal 527s combined did to Mr. Bush.

The Swifties also had the distinct advantage of telling the truth too.

2 posted on 11/18/2004 1:39:55 AM PST by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Republicam)
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To: neverdem
"it's safe to assume that the American electorate is not bound by the half-baked presumptions of the political elite and their deterministic fantasies."

Point well made and half baked dimwits like Matthews, Olberman, and Rather should pay attention here.

3 posted on 11/18/2004 1:41:08 AM PST by Enterprise (The left hates the Constitution. Islamic Fascism hates America. Natural allies.)
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To: Cincinatus

And sometimes the truth hurts. And this time, oh how it hurt! In fact, it hurts so much, it's like Khan in Star Trek talking to Captain Kirk. And it keeps on hurting.


4 posted on 11/18/2004 1:43:10 AM PST by Enterprise (The left hates the Constitution. Islamic Fascism hates America. Natural allies.)
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To: neverdem
High voter turnout favors Democratic candidates. The grassroots efforts of both parties to get out the vote should be applauded. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, but the idea that somehow this would favor Mr. Kerry failed to hold up. In Ohio, Mr. Kerry won more votes than any Democrat in state history; it's just that Mr. Bush got 136,000 more.

One of the primary reasons for the Rep win this time around, IMO, was the focus on GOTV efforts and other assorted "activism". I certainly got off my duff to help out!

I strongly hope that the Rep party understands the important role conservative "activists" had in winning them this election.

For as much as I disliked the Clintons, I hadn't been directly involved in campaigns since 1988. However, a candidate running on a conservative message brought many of us conservatives out to fight the good fight in a way that Bush in 92, or Dole, or even Bush in 2000 could not...
5 posted on 11/18/2004 1:43:41 AM PST by swilhelm73 (I voted for Bush. You're welcome.)
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To: neverdem

Nice article. Thanks for posting it.


6 posted on 11/18/2004 2:01:59 AM PST by Once-Ler (God Blessed America Again!)
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To: swilhelm73

Good points, swilhelm73:

Another would be that the Dems selected from the bottom of the absolute bottom of the Political Barrel with Kerry. The Media wrapped him in bullet-proof swaddling clothes. And the Elitists' "Little People" went to the polls. Revolted and shot Kerry and nearly all other Democrats down in flames.

Jack.


7 posted on 11/18/2004 2:14:52 AM PST by Jack Deth (When In Doubt.... Empty The Magazine!)
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To: neverdem
Another debunked myth, the dumb voters will believe anything said on TeeVee or by the Celebs. Gotta be a wake-up for the "elites". The message must have gotten through the smoke screen.
Thank you, Washington Times, NY Post, FR + related.
8 posted on 11/18/2004 2:15:36 AM PST by iopscusa (El Vaquero)
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To: swilhelm73

I strongly hope that the Rep party understands the important role conservative "activists" had in winning them this election.


####

They sure do, and that is why
a)Ken Mehlman is being proposed to head the RNC, and
b)why the smartmouth dems in the media are already sneering at the "Amway" model used in the the GOP GOTV.

Dems just do not understand volunteerism or belief in strong moral values.


9 posted on 11/18/2004 2:24:55 AM PST by maica ( November 2nd is Vietnam Veterans' Day)
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To: iopscusa
Thank you Michael Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bruce Springstein, Cher etc. Celebrity endorsements really help me to decide.
10 posted on 11/18/2004 2:27:58 AM PST by carumba
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To: Cincinatus
Swiftboat Vets backed up their message with factual historical accounts.

Kerry campaign staff backed up the Swifties by admitting that (a) Christmas in Cambodia didn't happen (b) One of Kerry's medals came from an unintentional self-inflicted wound.

Former Secretary of the Navy Lehman couldn't understand why his name was on Kerry's Silver Star with the Combat V (a designation that the Navy has never given to anyone...chuckle)

Kerry still hasn't signed that 180 form which to our many fine milatary and vets indicates that he is 'hiding something' QQ

Let the whole Kerry mess serve as a warning to other potential candidates who want to run on a lie.

In my opinion, Kerry is a traitor not a war hero.
11 posted on 11/18/2004 2:40:54 AM PST by xtinct (I was the next door neighbor kid's imaginary friend.)
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To: xtinct
I believe that the Kerry antiwar record/swiftboat veterans campaign was a part of the moral or values vote against Kerry..People who like Bush's faith would also be repelled by Kerry's lies and treason...and it spills over into leadership and doubts about his ability to fight the War on Terror..So many things overlap.

The condescension of the left has left a lot of resentment..
12 posted on 11/18/2004 2:55:30 AM PST by MEG33 ( Congratulations President Bush!..Thank you God. Four More Years!)
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To: neverdem

Bump. Great stuff.


13 posted on 11/18/2004 4:28:25 AM PST by SquirrelKing ("I have to march because my mother couldn't have an abortion." - Maxine Waters (D-California)
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To: neverdem

Great article, thanks for posting it!


14 posted on 11/18/2004 4:46:22 AM PST by alwaysconservative (It wasn't the GOP who ran sKerry for President and Dems want to think they're the smart ones? LOL!)
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To: neverdem
Moral Values was the option chosen on the exit polls. I believe character would have been a better choice, but it was not available. Bush has character and Kerry has none. Every time John Faux Kerry is given a chance, he supports the communist position. He will do or say anything to get in power to push the communist agenda. The Swifties pointed this out and were vilified by the mainstream media. Kind of makes you wonder whose side the mainstream media is on. From my viewpoint, it is definitely not the USA's side.

Long Live The Swift Boat Veterans And POWs For Truth!

15 posted on 11/18/2004 5:19:56 AM PST by ORECON (Condi Rice/Ann Coulter - 2008)
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To: carumba
Thank you Michael Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bruce Springstein, Cher etc. Celebrity endorsements really help me to decide.

So true. The vile hatred & lies aimed at the president by the above morons probably helped energize the Republican base more than anyone can imagine-it was one of the main reasons I voted for the first time in 12 years.

16 posted on 11/18/2004 5:32:10 AM PST by Larry381 (Wanted: Country willing to import thousands of whining liberals-no returns accepted)
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To: blam; Ernest_at_the_Beach; FairOpinion; ValerieUSA
Ping!
17 posted on 11/18/2004 9:53:41 AM PST by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: ORECON; SunkenCiv; neverdem
Kind of makes you wonder whose side the mainstream media is on. From my viewpoint, it is definitely not the USA's side.

Well wonder no more.....

___________________________________________________________________________

Unholy Alliance

by David Horowitz
Hardcover - (September 2004) - $27.95

In this tour de force on the most important issue of our time, David Horowitz, confronts the paradox of how so many Americans, including the leadership of the Democratic Party, could turn against the War on Terror. He finds an answer in a political Left that shares a view of America as the “Great Satan” with America’s radical Islamic enemies.

18 posted on 11/18/2004 10:12:07 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Ern' for the ping. "The requested document does not exist on this server" soooo...

Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left Unholy Alliance:
Radical Islam and the American Left

by David Horowitz


19 posted on 11/18/2004 10:27:18 AM PST by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: neverdem
I would like to know who pulled off the greatest propaganda ploy of the last ten or twenty years...

Changeing the blue states to red and the red states to blue..

What a coup.. socialism should rightly be red as was the case.. Must've been a concerted effort to do it... Changeing it back can and should be a unilateral effort.. republicans don't seem to care, but democrat mentalitys do..

20 posted on 11/18/2004 10:37:04 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe; Jim Robinson; wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; ...
I would like to know who pulled off the greatest propaganda ploy of the last ten or twenty years...

Changeing the blue states to red and the red states to blue..

What a coup.. socialism should rightly be red as was the case.. Must've been a concerted effort to do it... Changeing it back can and should be a unilateral effort.. republicans don't seem to care, but democrat mentalitys do..

I believe taking blue back is imperative. GWB needs to be part of it. This is part of the MSM's subversion of the teaching of modern American History.

From time to time, I’ll post or ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

21 posted on 11/18/2004 10:58:22 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: hosepipe
I would like to know who pulled off the greatest propaganda ploy of the last ten or twenty years...

Changeing the blue states to red and the red states to blue..

I read once that it was a long-standing network practice to assign blue to the incumbent and red to the challenger in Presidential elections. Hence, in 2000 Gore (the closest thing to an incumbent) was blue and Bush red. After that election so much was written about Blue America vs. Red America that the color assignments just stuck. In other words, nothing to do with socialism. I don't know if this is true but it seemed plausible when I read it. I don't remember the source.

22 posted on 11/18/2004 11:08:24 AM PST by jalisco555 ("The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." W. B. Yeats)
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To: hosepipe; neverdem

I believe it was USA Today which created the first "blue state-red state" map after the 2000 election.


23 posted on 11/18/2004 11:19:49 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: hosepipe; neverdem
What a coup.. socialism should rightly be red as was the case.. Must've been a concerted effort to do it... Changeing it back can and should be a unilateral effort..

I believe taking blue back is imperative. GWB needs to be part of it.

4,500 little kids are killed in abortion clinics each day.

48% of the American electorate voted for a man who (I'm not exaggerating) makes Benedict Arnold look pretty good.

Dem obstructionists are bent on making sure the next several Supreme Court Justices are enemies of freedom.

Liberals continue their efforts to confiscate guns and make our public schools into perfect idiot-producing machines.

Jihadists plot to kill us by the millions.

And you guys are worried about colors on a map.

Let's keep our eyes on the ball, shall we?

24 posted on 11/18/2004 11:43:33 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (I used to be a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it. They gave me the axe.)
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To: jalisco555
[ In other words, nothing to do with socialism. I don't know if this is true but it seemed plausible when I read it. I don't remember the source. ]

Could be true.. but damn it just seemed to be right as rain when the democrats were red.. and non democrats were blue. Since both partys are leftist organizations maybe it makes no sense either way NOW... course one could be PINK... and the other red..

25 posted on 11/18/2004 11:48:41 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: swilhelm73

Excellent analysis of yours.


26 posted on 11/18/2004 11:49:30 AM PST by jammer
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To: Mr. Silverback
And you guys are worried about colors on a map. Let's keep our eyes on the ball, shall we?

LoL.... true.....
The voice reason farts.. No I won't pull your finger..

27 posted on 11/18/2004 11:55:44 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: neverdem
too right... Republicans have been True-Blue since the Union Army. the RATS just HATED being red since it so belied their true color, BLOOD RED!!!

in collusion with the MSM the RATS glommed onto Blue in 2000 under the LIE that Incumbents are always Blue. so much for that.

28 posted on 11/18/2004 12:01:41 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: Mr. Silverback
And you guys are worried about colors on a map.

Let's keep our eyes on the ball, shall we?

If you don't think symbolism and metaphors are important to propaganda, so be it. There's a reason that the leftists were being called pinkos in the 1960s, the same time that the feminazis planted their objectives within the Democratic Party and white males started to be demonized as responsible for all the evil in the world.

These folks are controlling the books used in public schools. IIRC, they don't even teach history per se in grades K - 12 anymore. If we let them control the terms of debate, guess what happens IMHO?

29 posted on 11/18/2004 12:17:00 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
If you don't think symbolism and metaphors are important to propaganda, so be it.

No, I just think there's absolutely zero chance that changing a color on a TV map will convince swing voters that people in Kansas are Commies, or that changing it back will disabuse anyone of their prejudices.

30 posted on 11/18/2004 12:24:08 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (I used to be a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it. They gave me the axe.)
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To: hosepipe
The voice reason farts.

Huh?

31 posted on 11/18/2004 12:25:16 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (I used to be a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it. They gave me the axe.)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: kphockey2
actually there is a method to how the color is chosen.

the incumbent party has blue.

It started with the election in 2000. How come? Why did the MSM abandon the incumbents being blue in 2004, just convenience? I don't think so. Look at how much the MSM wanted to help Benedict Arnold, er John Kerry.

33 posted on 11/18/2004 12:35:30 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: All
From http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/ARTICLES/redblue.php

One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

NYTimes BannerBy TOM ZELLER
Published: February 8, 2004

Article originally published at http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/08/weekinreview/08zell.html

ON Dec. 19, the online magazine Slate corrected an installment of "Moneybox," a recurring column by Daniel Gross. The article had "reversed the states' electoral colors," the correction stated. "It's the blue coastal states that opposed Bush, and the red states that supported him."

The arbitrary, it seemed, had become axiomatic. Neither Mr. Gross's column, nor the correction, referred to a particular map. Instead, they both alluded to what has become, in the four years since the Bush-Gore showdown, something of a Platonic political tableau - one from which this simple, harmonic maxim now emanates: Democratic states are blue, and Republican states are red.

"I didn't realize it had become so official," said Mr. Gross, who also writes periodically for The New York Times. "I must have missed the memo."

There wasn't one, of course, but it is testament to the visual onslaught of the 2000 election - those endlessly repeated images of the electoral United States - that the Red State/Blue State dichotomy has become entrenched in the political lexicon.

"The red states have turned redder," the Bush campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, said recently, "while the blue states have turned purple."

To many, this palette represents an ignorant (or perhaps intentional) reversal of international tradition, which often associates red with left-leaning parties and blue with the right. "It's weird, is all," wrote a blogger at dailykos.com, a political Web journal. "I'd like some accountability if people are going to start messing with cultural symbolism willy-nilly."

Mark Monmonier, a professor of geography at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and an expert in the use of maps as analytical and persuasive tools, found himself automatically reversing the current color code. "I remember talking in a class about the red states and blue states," he said, "and a student actually corrected me."

Online political discussion groups buzz with conspiracy theories about the maps, suggesting that Republican states were made red because that color typically represents the enemy on military combat maps, or because red has more negative psychological baggage (fiery, dangerous) than friendly, pacific blue.

Others have thought it simply a naïve attempt to avoid trafficking in stereotypes (Democrats are Reds, or socialists). Professor Monmonier suggested - jokingly - that the red-left, blue-right association more rightly follows the conventional ordering of visible light (red, yellow, green, blue, and so forth).

But in the United States, at least, the color coding has rarely been static.

An early marriage of red and blue with the two major parties is noted in the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas History Online, which describes a color-coding system developed in the 1870's to help illiterate and Spanish-speaking voters navigate English-language ballots in South Texas. Local Democratic leaders called their party the Blues; Republicans chose to be the Reds.

By late in the next century, however, few were guided by that historical tidbit - or any other convention.

"It's beginning to look like a suburban swimming pool," the television anchor David Brinkley noted on election night 1980, as hundreds of Republican-blue light bulbs illuminated NBC's studio map, signaling a landslide victory for Ronald Regan over the Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter. Other staffers, Time magazine wrote, called it "Lake Reagan."

Mr. Carter's bulbs were red.

Five years later, in her book "My Story," Geraldine A. Ferraro recalled watching her 1984 vice presidential bid founder on the television screen. Mr. Reagan's victory this time around was rendered in both flavors. "One network map of the United States was entirely blue for the Republicans," she wrote. "On another network, the color motif was a blanket of red."

By the 1990's, the color scheme was becoming a bit more formalized - at least on network and cable television. But other news outlets continued to vary.

Time magazine had favored Democratic red and Republican white in the 1976 election between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, then reversed those colors for Reagan and Carter in 1980. By 1988, the magazine was using Republican blue and Democratic red, and it stayed with that motif even through the 2000 election, which has colorized the nation's political language in precisely the opposite way.

The Times, which published its first color presidential election map in 2000, followed the networks, although Archie Tse, a graphics editor who made the choice, provided a different rationale: "Both Republican and red start with the letter R," he said.

The National Atlas of the United States, published online under the auspices of the United States Geological Survey at nationalatlas.gov, still resists that trend: Bush counties are blue; Gore counties red.

Does it matter? Can swaths of cartographic-crimson or seas of ballot-blue tickle the rods and cones of the voting public and trigger deep-seated associations? The field of color psychology is uncertain on the matter.

Robert F. Simons, a professor of psychology at the University of Delaware and a co-author of a recent study titled "The Emotional Significance of Color in Television Presentations," published in the journal Media Psychology, says it is difficult to link colors directly with how much people like or dislike something.

"People still associate color with all sorts of things - red is hot, blue is cold," Professor Simons said. "But when all is said and done, these are semantic associations that probably have little to do with color per se."

But Leatrice Eiseman, the director of the Pantone Color Institute, says those semantic associations are fairly entrenched - at least in the West. Blue, Ms. Eiseman says, is cool and calming, and typically represents "those things in nature that are always there for us, like water and the sky," she said. Red, in contrast is "exciting, dynamic, high-energy."

"It can also be a symbol of danger and bloodshed," she added, although Republicans who find themselves uncomfortable at the hot-and-twitchy end of the spectrum may take comfort at the ascension of their color on Valentine's Day. "Red is also a very sensual color," Ms. Eiseman said.

She suggests that maps would do better to mimic the flag, with states bearing either stars on a blue field, or red-and-white stripes. "That would provide a symbolism that is familiar to everyone," Ms. Eiseman said.

Whatever the subliminal debris, the 2000 election, which kept the nation staring at tinted maps for weeks as the outcome remained uncertain, appears to have cemented a decision that once could be safely governed by whimsy. The Geospatial and Statistical Data Center at the University of Virginia, for example, once chose shades of green and turquoise for its election maps. "I suspect it was just what the mapmaker liked at the time," said Michael J. Furlough, the director of the data center.

But the center's maps for the 2000 election were made red and blue. "We made that decision so that the colors would match those that we thought viewers naturally associated with each party," Mr. Furlough said.

"A critical part of Dean . . . truly reflects much of the culture of the Blue States of America," wrote Andrew Sullivan in Time magazine last week. That's probably reason enough for the publication to cede to convention and render the Democrats blue this year. The magazine's managing editor, James Kelly, says it's already been decided. "We're getting with the program," he said.
cool image


34 posted on 11/18/2004 2:00:19 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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